*Clippers executive Jerry West is being sued by a man who claims he helped the team land Kawhi Leonard, and he has a voicemail message from West to prove it (see clip above).
Wilkes tells TMZ Sports … West left the voicemail for him on July 1, 2019, in which he’s “expressing concern that Kawhi would choose the Lakers over the Clippers.”
Wilkes says, “In the same message, Jerry thanked me for all my efforts in getting Kawhi to sign with the Clippers.”
The man who sounds like West is also heard taking shots at the LA Lakers, saying, “Hey there, this is Jerry calling. I really want to thank you a lot for trying to help. I heard this morning that everyone over in the Lakers camp thinks they’re gonna get him.”
“I just find it hard to believe that he would want to go to that sh*t show where he would not even be … wouldn’t even get his name in the paper and he wouldn’t be the face of the franchise that’s for sure.”
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 17, 2020
“He might be the best player on the team, but hope things are well and again, I really really appreciate everything you’ve done.” The man believed to be West seems to be referring to LeBron James being the star of the Lakers, so there’s little chance Kawhi could share in the spotlight.
The voicemail continues … “I will keep you apprised of what’s going on. But, I do want to get together with you privately and would love to take you to dinner and even Sam if he’s around. So I can at least pay my respects to you guys for being so generous and helpful. Take care, talk to you sometime soon. Bye-bye.”
According to TMZ, “Sam” is Sam Watson — who was allegedly involved in Kawhi signing with the Clippers.
West has denied any wrongdoing in helping sign Leonard to the Clippers.
The Clippers previously issued a statement saying, “The lawsuit filed by Johnny Wilkes is replete with inaccuracies and the allegations are baseless. The Clippers are fully cooperating with the NBA in its investigation, which is standard when these types of allegations are made.
“[The Clippers] are providing the NBA with evidence that the allegations are false.”
Meanwhile, Leonard has denied that Wilkes had any influence over his decision to join the team.
“That has nothing to do with me, nobody swayed my mind to go somewhere,” said Leonard during press interviews on Thursday, per Complex. “I’m from L.A. and I grew up here my whole life. And out here, people try to find any way to get some money. It probably won’t be the last. I know a lot of people out here.”